This year, the Coalition for Community Schools joins with California community school leaders and advocates to convene a diverse group of stakeholders committed to better results for young people across the nation. The 2012 National Forum will engage a broad audience of policymakers, administrators and practitioners who want to learn how to put together school and community assets to support student success.
This year’s theme, Scaling up School and Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy reflects the Coalition’s new guide. We are consciously encouraging school and community leaders to develop long-term systemic approaches to community schools implementation – approaches that are consistent with our belief that community schools are fundamental to education reform. Scale up efforts are particularly important at a time when there is growing discussion about the influence non-school factors, particularly poverty, has on student achievement. The emphasis on scaling up also connects community schools to strategies such as Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, P-20 initiatives, and Cradle-to-Career education.
Martin J. Blank
Martin J. Blank is the President of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, DC. He leads IEL in its efforts to build the capacity of people, organizations and systems -- in education and related fields -- to cross boundaries and work together to attain better results for children and youth. Marty has been associated with IEL since 1985, focusing his work on building bridges between schools and other institutions with assets that can support student success.
Marty also serves as the Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, which is staffed by the Institute for Educational Leadership. The Coalition is an alliance that brings together leaders and organizations in education, family support, youth development early childhood, community development, government and philanthropy. Partners advocate for schools as centers of their communities where school and community resources are organized to support student success, strengthen families and build healthier communities.
Marty is the co-author of Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools and Together We Can: A Guide for Crafting a Pro-family System of Education and Human Services. He was Project Director for the preparation of Learning Together, a comprehensive map of the revitalized community schools movement across the country.
Jane Quinn joined The Childrenâ€™s Aid Society executive team in January of 2000 and currently serves as the Societyâ€™s Vice President for Community Schools and as Director of the National Center for Community Schools. On the national level, Quinnâ€™s work focuses on advancing the community schools strategy as a preferred education reform approach. She also provides strategic planning and fundraising expertise to the Societyâ€™s local community schools, which are long-term partnerships with the New York City Department of Education.
Lisa Villarreal is Vice-Chair of the Coalition for Community Schools, and Program Officer of EducaÂtion for the San Francisco Foundation.
Martin J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership, argues for the role of community schools in education initiatives. Blank asserts that "community schools are smart schools of the twenty-first century."